Yesterday I held your hand,
Reverently I pressed it,
And its gentle yieldingness
From my soul I blessed it.
But to-day I sit alone,
Sad and sore repining;
Must our gold forever know
Flames for the refining?
Yesterday I walked with you,
Could a day be sweeter?
Life was all a lyric song
Set to tricksy meter.
Ah, to-day is like a dirge,—
Place my arms around you,
Let me feel the same dear joy
As when first I found you.
Let me once retrace my steps,
From these roads unpleasant,
Let my heart and mind and soul
All ignore the present.
Yesterday the iron seared
And to-day means sorrow.
Pause, my soul, arise, arise,
Look where gleams the morrow.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 16, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
You made tomatoes laugh
& warned me
some words die in cages.
I met you first in the desert.
You burned sage, greeted,
each of the four directions
with plumed syllables.
The ritual embarrassed me—
your stout body, your
mischievous smile did not.
You were familial.
The first poem I wrote
that sounded like me
echoed your work.
Copal, popote, tocayo, cacahuate:
you taught me Spanish
is a colonial tongue.
Some Mesoamerican elders
believed there’s a fifth direction.
Not the sky or the ground
but the person right next to you.
I’m turning to face you, maestro.
I’m greeting you.
Copyright © 2020 by Eduardo C. Corral. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 27, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
Unknown to you, I walk the cheerless shore.
The cutting blast, the hurl of biting brine,
May freeze, and still, and bind the waves at war,
Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
That I have sought, reflected in the blue
Of these sea depths, some shadow of your eyes;
Have hoped the laughing waves would sing of you,
But this is all my starving sight descries—
Far out at sea a sail
Bends to the freshening breeze,
Yields to the rising gale,
That sweeps the seas;
Yields, as a bird wind-tossed,
To saltish waves that fling
Their spray, whose rime and frost
Like crystals cling
To canvas, mast and spar,
Till, gleaming like a gem,
She sinks beyond the far
Lost to my longing sight,
And nothing left to me
Save an oncoming night,—
An empty sea.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 30, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
Those years are foliage of trees
their trunks hidden by bushes;
behind them a gray haze topped with silver
hides the swinging steps of my first love
On its face
grave steel palaces with smoking torches,
parading monasteries moved slowly to the Black Sea
till the bared branches scratched the north wind.
On its bed
a great Leviathan waited
for the ceremonies on the arrival of Messiah
and bobbing small fishes snapped sun splinters
for the pleasure of the monster.
Along its shores
red capped little hours danced
with rainbow colored kites,
messengers to heaven.
My memory is a sigh
of swallows swinging
through a slow dormant summer
to a timid line on the horizon.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 31, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
I saw you as I passed last night,
Framed in a sky of gold;
And through the sun’s fast paling light
You seemed a queen of old,
Whose smile was light to all the world
Against the crowding dark.
And in my soul a song there purled—
Re-echoed by the lark.
I saw you as I passed last night,
Your tresses burnished gold,
While in your eyes a happy bright
Gleam of your friendship told.
And I went singing on my way;
On, on into the dark.
But in my heart still shone the day,
And still—still sang the lark.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 25, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
O, come, Love, let us take a walk,
Down the Way-of-Life together;
Storms may come, but what care we,
If be fair or foul the weather.
When the sky overhead is blue,
Balmy, scented winds will after
Us, adown the valley blow
Haunting echoes of our laughter.
When Life’s storms upon us beat
Crushing us with fury, after
All is done, there’ll ringing come
Mocking echoes of our laughter.
So we’ll walk the Way-of-Life,
You and I, Love, both together,
Storm or sunshine, happy we
If be foul or fair the weather.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 15, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
It’s a long way the sea-winds blow
Over the sea-plains blue,—
But longer far has my heart to go
Before its dreams come true.
It’s work we must, and love we must,
And do the best we may,
And take the hope of dreams in trust
To keep us day by day.
It’s a long way the sea-winds blow—
But somewhere lies a shore—
Thus down the tide of Time shall flow
My dreams forevermore.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 22, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
Will it never be possible
to separate you from your greyness?
Must you be always sinking backward
into your grey-brown landscapes—and trees
always in the distance, always against a grey sky?
Must I be always
moving counter to you? Is there no place
where we can be at peace together
and the motion of our drawing apart
be altogether taken up?
I see myself
standing upon your shoulders touching
a grey, broken sky—
but you, weighted down with me,
yet gripping my ankles,—move
where it is level and undisturbed by colors.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.